THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The crux of the whole issue lashing at the Kerala Congress(M) now is a simmering discontent among a section of Joseph loyalists that they are not getting their due in the organisational structure as well as a share of posts in institutions where the party has a controlling stake.
The dissidence is essentially staged by former MP K Francis George, former MLAs Dr K C Joseph, Antony Raju and P C Joseph, which is also viewed as a pressure tactics to bargain with Mani.
P C Joseph, a former MLA from Thodupuzha, who wants to tie up with the LDF, is not even on talking terms with P J Joseph. The remaining three are aligned with the minister but are in the lurch, as the latter is not interested to take any extreme step. The trio wants to ensure that they get seats to contest the polls, which has not found favour with Mani or his son Jose K Mani MP so far. The supporters of Mani are reportedly being guided with a thinking that the four-member band would severe ties with the party at any opportune moment. After booting P C George, the party does not want to court any fresh trouble, by giving much leverage to anyone in the party.
Francis George was being wooed by the CPM from the days of the last Lok Sabha polls itself to break ranks with Kerala Congress and pitch tent in the Left camp. Interestingly,the CPM was not keen in bringing Joseph to the Left camp and only wants a Kerala Congress label bearing outfit under the ex-MP, who is the son of the Kerala Congress founder leader the late K M George, in its bandwagon. At the height of the bar controversy, a renewed bid was made at the instance of the CPM to create a division in the Kerala Congress, but it didn’t take further leap for various reasons.
Mani is determined to lead the show and keep everything under his control, as the Vigilance probe and court verdict against him in the bar bribery scam has obviously lost much of its tempo after he resigned from the Oommen Chandy ministry. He has scotched rumours pertaining to his candidature in his pocket borough Pala segment, which he had been representing for half a century. ‘’I will be in the fray as long as the people of Pala want me’’, Mani told ‘Express.’